By Jessie Logsdon
Last year, a lot of my friends were learning to speak different languages. Spanish, French, Italian, Chinese, etc. I also wanted to try a new language, but I wanted to learn something a little bit different. So, I decided to start learning American Sign Language (ASL).
ASL is the most commonly used sign language amongst deaf people. I decided to learn it because I always thought it was beautiful to watch people speak it. I was so excited to show it to my friends and family. I started researching apps, games, flashcards, and videos. Soon, I had many different resources and I began to practice.
I used a website called “Signing Savvy.” They have thousands of words to learn, and they show you how to sing it by showing you a video. They also have a “word of the day.” You can learn colors, shapes, animals, and foods. This app definitely helped me a lot.
At school, I started signing to my friends and signing the pledge of allegiance every morning. All my teachers and friends thought it was so cool. I kept learning and learning. I could introduce myself, sign a couple short songs, and fingerspell people’s names. It was amazing!
As for most things, there were some bad parts. A couple kids thought I was lame for learning sign language. They would mock me by flailing their arms around. I didn’t really care, but it was still annoying. People would come up to me all the time and tell me to sign something in sign language. When I didn’t know it, they would act like I was supposed to be fluent. They didn’t understand that I didn’t know everything yet.
I can now sign the whole alphabet in under 16 seconds, sign many songs, and have a conversation. I am still not fluent but I will keep working to get there. In the end, If you are thinking about trying something new, or learning something different, you should go for it. It is totally worth it and you will feel super good after!